Friday, 30 April 2010

New layout

Seeing as I'm working on web development at work, I decided to have a go at modifying myself a new template for this blog. I'm one of those people that are constantly rearranging furniture because they get sick of the current layout, so expect nothing less from my blog!

Nothing much on this weekend, thankfully. I really need some time to recover from the busy weeks just past. So I'm doing a lot of gardening, lounging around and babysitting J's little brother. I'm looking forward to it. Enjoy your weekend, guys and dolls!

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Crafty Kittens

Last night I sewed a little bit more of my 1940s dress. As a total novice, I’m finding the blouse pieces very difficult to follow, especially as the instructions aren’t overly clear. I even had to Google the word “baste”, which means to tack or stitch loosely. FYI. Last night I cut, darted and sewed half of the front blouse piece to the back… Tonight, if I have time, I will try the other front half blouse piece. It’ll be slow going from here on in, unfortunately. But slow and steady wins the race.

I have also been inspired to knit. Tuppence Ha’penny gave away a digital version of this 1941 knitting pattern a few weeks ago, and she was lovely enough to forward me a copy. I brought the pattern into work, and a work friend is attempting to sew it. But it’s challenging, even for the experienced knitter. Right now she’s almost finished the back piece… she’s just up to shaping the shoulders. I’ll keep you posted on her progress.


She did put me onto another website for free knitting patterns – and it’s a museum website! The Victoria & Albert Museum of England has a few knitting PDFs available, and I think this one is just darling. It’s called the ‘Victory Sweater’ from 1945. It seems like an easier pattern to follow, and easier to adapt to a larger size than the 1941 pattern. We’ll see – my Nan has offered me her knitting needles, as she’s now crippled with arthritis. And I’m sure she’d be able to help me out, bless her.


You know, the other day I was talking to my Nan (while pinching her sewing machine to sew my dress) and she mentioned that she attending sewing school back in the late 40s/early 50s with one of my great aunties! She learnt to make her own patterns, and sewed all of her own clothes, but was never happy with the quality. I’m sure they would have been lovely. Talking to Nan has inspired me to attend a sewing course… I’m on the lookout for courses around Geelong as we speak.

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Lochinver Farm

I am back from my wonderful weekend away. And what a wonderful weekend it was. Truly. J's dad's family are so welcoming and easy to get along with, I'm glad I was included in their family reunion. The setting was truly magical too - Lochinver Farm near Carisbrook in Victoria. Carisbrook is an old gold mining town, and the landscape is dotted with old bluestone ruins and mullock heaps. Here are a few shots of the homestead we stayed in:






On the property were plenty of old buildings, sheds and shacks too - each with a plaque listing the purpose and year it was built. My favourite was this little "house". It was just one room dating from 1910, and was complete with furnishings from the period. Pinned to the wall I found advertisements for Lux soap with two 1930s-40s film stars (Merle Oberon and Ida Lupino).




On the way home, we stopped off in Clunes so I could take a photo of this library I spotted on the way there. We then had a wander around the town, and it looks like it is straight from a Wild West movie. Huge wide streets, great balconies on the shopfronts, and all the original signage and advertisements. I took a photo or two, but the cars in the shot spoil it. Some great pictures of Clunes are available here.


Both J and I had such a great time - we ate, we drank (boy, did we!), we spent a great deal of time in the 12 person hydrotherapy spa, we walked, we explored, we hung out with family. And I dressed in vintage the entire time. It was really quite sad when the weekend came to an end. No doubt J and I will return one day, and probably rent out one of the smaller cottages on the property. It would be lovely in winter there, with all the fireplaces and kitchen stoves roaring. I hope you all had a wonderful Anzac weekend, and wore your Anzac badges proudly.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

The longest week

Well, it has been the longest week. I have had two mammoth university assignments due on the most horrible subjects (information governance and organisational e-transformation), and I had to give not one, not two, but THREE presentations at the Geelong College careers night on librarianship. Thankfully I got all of those things behind me, so now I can relax and look forward to the weekend at Carisbrook this weekend!

The weather is terrible, but we luckily had a nice day on Thursday to burn off the paddocks.  The animals and I headed down the paddocks to watch the boys in action. However, turns out I own one of the dumbest animals around, who apparently has no fear of fire, so we had to turn back for fear of eating roast lamb for tea (at least she's flame retardant!) I did manage to take a few snaps though.




Next, my first outfit pic with my new camera. I really must look at buying a decent tripod, so I don't have to find a fence post to balance my camera on.



Now, my 1940s dress pattern arrived! I normally rush things when I sew, so I promised myself I'd take my time. Silly me thought it'd be a nice, simple dress, but oh no! Darts and pleats and tucks and ten skirt panels... It's ok though, I started pinnnig and cutting the skirt pieces of the pattern yesterday, and ended up on such a roll that I sewed all of the skirt, apart from one seam that requires an invisible zip (that's to be done at the seamstress). Then I even pinned and cut the two blouse pieces, and sewed the darts in the back piece. I'm very proud of myself! It's nowhere near finished yet, but I shall update you with pictures when it is!



And finally, I bought something very exciting on eBay not long ago, but I've been keeping it hidden so I could show you a great picture. And here it is. A 1940s nurses woolen cape. I love the combination of navy and red. I'll definitely be showing off the red interior somehow! It's very, very warm and in amazingly fantasitc condition, considering its age. And also, decent pictures of my 1950s skirt suit!




Now I'm off to chop up 2.5kg of potatoes to make mash potato for our big family dinner tonight. Hopefully I'll have some great pictures to share with you all on my return!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Ace

Just a quick little update with my favourite photo I've taken so far... I really only had a chance to take a few snaps before the sun went down. I'm still on auto settings for the moment, but tomorrow night my Dad and I are going into town to take some snaps at night, and he'll show me the ropes.


I find it so hard to take decent shots of Ace... none have really managed to capture his beauty (or maybe that's just because nobody loves him as much as I do!) until this shot. Plus, he's a good poser.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

DIY

Inspired by Solanah from Vixen Vintage, who yesterday sewed a 1930s farm dress, I have decided to try my hand at sewing a dress. This might be a fairly ambitious gamble, seeing as the last garment of clothing I sewed from scratch was... hang on, I don't think I've ever made a garment of clothing before! Whoops, I probably should have realised that before I bought the pattern from etsy, huh?

Oh well, what the hell? Live and learn, I say. Here's the pattern I purchased:


I shall definitely be posting pictures once I receive my pattern and start the process. I shall head to a fabric store after Anzac Day, as I've got lots of assignments due before then which I should really put first! I hope Spotlight or Lincraft have some suitable vintage style fabrics. I should also have my D90 DSLR too by that stage, so pretty pictures shall accompany!

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Argh, exciting news! My gorgeous mamma headed to Melbourne today to put a deposit down on my new DSLR, but instead found it in-stock in another store, and it was cheaper! Hurrah. I can't wait to get home and play. Fancy pictures coming soon, people!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Sad news...

Apologies for not making any updates recently - life has been pretty quiet here, just working, writing essays (or procrastinating) and doing a whole lotta nothing. Hopefully I should have some exciting updates soon - I'm about to purchase a DSLR camera, so fingers crossed there will be some pretty outfit pictures heading your way!

This weekend we're back off to the bush block to celebrate a friend's birthday in (lack of) style! Just a quiet one with most of our friends, which should be good. And then next weekend we're off to the 1860s farmhouse in the country! But before then, I have to submit two assignments... one I have 99% finished, one I haven't even started (and that's a 4000 worder). Eeep.

Sad news too. You know how I purchased the Bettie Page Captain dress to wear to our friends wedding in April 2011? Well, they broke up over the weekend :( Mr. D (the guy) came out to our place on Friday night to witness the glory that is a motorcycle parked in the living room, and he told us everything. I won't go into the whole story, but it's really divided our group of friends, and there is a whole lot of backstabbing and bitching going on, which just isn't on. It has brought J and myself closer together though, because we've discussed all the problems they'd been having and our thoughts on them. It's just sad... two gorgeous kiddies now don't get to see their dad every day.

On that sad note, I'm off. Work (and my lunch break) are calling.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Dungarees!

My Freddies of Pinewood order arrived yesterday - only a week after I ordered, and that includes all the public holidays! I'm very thankful I bought the size 32 jeans instead of the 30s... I need that extra room thanks for all the chockie I consumed!

The top I ordered is awesome too, so I went right back online and bought another two from their sale section. I'm actually wearing the dungarees today, so I took a photo!


They're really comfy, but it feels a little weird wearing jeans that sit so high! I think they look great with Chucks, and the grey colour should go with just about anything. I didn't realise the zip and button were hidden within one of the pockets though - they're probably not the most time efficient jeans when you're desperate for a bathroom break!

Here are the two additional Rebecca tops I purchased last night:




It's a bit hard to tell, but they're both actually the same light blue colour, one just has a patterned collar. I'm a bit surprised, but I've had a fair few comments on my jeans so far today - I thought they might have been a bit too "out there" for my workmates, but they seem to like them!

Easter

Well, it is scary how quickly that five day long weekend flew by! I'm back at work today, sigh, but thankfully I only have to work 2.5 days, plus a trip to the surgeon today, so hopefully it won't seem like eternity.

On Good Friday J and myself headed out to his parents bush block for a night of camping before his parents arrived the following day. The other bloke who owns half of the block (a mate of J's parents) has made some great improvements, namely more lighting, which runs off car batteries, and a swell verandah so you can sit outside and enjoy the warmth of the potbelly without getting rained on!


The inside of the shed - full of sofa couches and old mattresses.


The outside, now with added verandah!


The view. At one point, a couple of kangaroos bounded past, and a wallaby stopped to suss us out.


The evening's entertainment. Monopoly and drinks around the potbelly. Nobody won that game of Monopoly... we packed it up when J's parents arrived. But it was neck and neck. 

We arrived back home on Sunday morning, and we basically just slept and did laundry for the rest of the day. Monday I had to myself, as J went up north to go trailbike riding. And then Tuesday, we headed into town so J could pick up his new $19,000 bike! It was a great weekend, but now I'm a few kilos heavier thanks to all the processed meat and Easter eggs!

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Freddies of Pinewood

After much umming and ahhing, I have decided to purchase some dungarees. I did a bit of research - there aren't many companies out there that make dungarees unfortunately. And vintage ones are few and far between on eBay, especially in the styles I like.

I decided on Freddies of Pinewood after reading about the brand on Vixen Vintage's blog as well as the What Katie Did forums. So, I decided I'd first test the water with their sizing by buying a pair of their "jeanies" on sale. I also bought a gorgeous pink knit top - I've been searching for a top like this for ages!



I'm not too sure of the sizing - my waist is exactly 30", but I bought the 32" so they wouldn't be too tight. I can always take the waist in a smidge if they're too big. And talk about cheap thrills. The jeans were £20 and the top was £12.50. If the top is as great in real life as it looks on the website, I'll be hurrying back to buy a few more.